The eternal reality that God cares for people is an important foundation in
every Christian’s life. If affects the way we see God and the way we see
others. God’s care is a central idea that should fill our lives and bleed
over from us into the lives of others.
Caring is the foundation for evangelism and outreach
“Love cares for others.” This should be the atmosphere that emanates
from His people. It is the heart behind everything we do. Consider evangelism.
Jesus set the call to evangelize (work in the harvest) upon the
foundation of caring.
Mat 9:35-38 NASB Jesus was going through all the cities and villages,
teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom,
and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. (36) Seeing
the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like
sheep without a shepherd. (37) Then He *said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful,
but the workers are few. (38) "Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out
workers into His harvest."
Three words in this statement are important in understanding the caring heart with which
Jesus operated in evangelism. It is the same heart He wants us to have as we approach our
work in the harvest.
Felt compassion – “To have the bowels, to yearn, to pity, to feel sympathy, to be moved
with compassion.” It is a deep feeling of care that is designed to move you.
Distressed – “Harassed and troubled.”
Dispirited – “To cast or throw, to throw to the ground.”
Jesus felt deeply about lost people and the condition they were in. This is what moved
Him to pray and encourage His disciples to become involved in the harvest. This heart of
caring for people is the motivation He wants us to have as we work in the harvest.
We have probably all seen people who have been put off by evangelistic attempts in which the messenger didn’t have a
heart of caring. It often isn’t just what is said that is the problem, but the heart behind it. It is hard to communicate the
real issue that man is separated from God because of their sin, under God’s judgment, and going to hell, if there is no
expression of care coming through. It isn’t that we avoid communicating the realities of sin and judgment, but we share
them in a context in which people know God cares and we care.
In the account of Luke in which He sends the seventy out to work in the harvest there is a strong focus to care for the
people they seek to reach.
When they entered a house they were to express a wish of peace for that house. This isn’t just an nice salutation but a
wish for something positive born out of caring. The word peace here means “peace, welfare, and prosperity.” It expresses
a heart of care for that household. It is an expression of hope and desire born out of care for people.
They were also to heal people. Again this is an expression of care. Obviously it was for physical healing but there can
be other types of healings, emotions, relationships, marriages, and families etc. It was only after giving a blessing and
healing people were they to speak of the Kingdom of God. While this isn’t some sort of formula, we can see that expressions
of caring should be shown with the gospel.
Caring for people is based on God’s love not what they do
We can mistakenly think that as long as people are rejecting Jesus what use is it to
show expressions of care. After all “until they get right with God through Jesus they
are doomed anyway.” But if we simply follow the pattern of Jesus when He walked
on this earth we see that He expressed care for people regardless of their condition.
Jesus blessed the multitudes by feeding them and healing their sicknesses. He didn’t
withhold blessings because of their sin. He wasn’t like Santa Clause who checked to
see if people were “naughty or nice” before giving them a gift of blessing. He expressed
the love and care of God freely, and we should also.
I have heard it said, “People don’t care what you know until they know you care.” It is very difficult to communicate to
people “God so loved the world” when we don’t care for them. It is hard for a God who cares to be communicated
through a people who do not. This is a key to the way Jesus instructed us to shine our light. Mat 5:16 "Let your light
shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
We must realize that God’s care for people isn’t dependent on their perfect behavior. It is constant, regardless of how
they live. This is why Jesus Himself encouraged us strongly to express love and care for people who don’t deserve it.
Luk 6:27 "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
Mat 5:44 "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you